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Dealing with a smaller scale lifestyle

Dealing with a smaller scale lifestyle

Old Sep 6th 2007, 7:34 pm
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Default Dealing with a smaller scale lifestyle

I'm curious as to how people cope with returning to a UK lifestyle where things may be on a much smaller scale (eg property, cars, etc) ? I suppose this question is addressed to those returning from North America but may apply to other parts of the world (eg Australia/NZ/South Africa). I know there will be set responses like it's "all about quality, not quantity" etc but is there a minimum threshold that you will still adhere to ?

I remember the times when I used to return from holidays in Canada, and everything by comparison at home in England felt like I was living in Toy Town. My house felt like a shoe box and my car felt dinky compared to the auto juggernauts across the pond. After a while the feeling subsided but it was depressing while it lasted.

I think it's much easier to alter your mental parameters when you go from small to bigger than vice versa. Thoughts ?
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Old Sep 6th 2007, 7:43 pm
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Default Re: Dealing with a smaller scale lifestyle

Originally Posted by Cyan
I'm curious as to how people cope with returning to a UK lifestyle where things may be on a much smaller scale (eg property, cars, etc) ? I suppose this question is addressed to those returning from North America but may apply to other parts of the world (eg Australia/NZ/South Africa). I know there will be set responses like it's "all about quality, not quantity" etc but is there a minimum threshold that you will still adhere to ?

I remember the times when I used to return from holidays in Canada, and everything by comparison at home in England felt like I was living in Toy Town. My house felt like a shoe box and my car felt dinky compared to the auto juggernauts across the pond. After a while the feeling subsided but it was depressing while it lasted.

I think it's much easier to alter your mental parameters when you go from small to bigger than vice versa. Thoughts ?
it never bothers me, bigger is most definitely not better! yes we have a smaller house over in blighty than here but it's home!

it's the location that counts and the people, and my response is as you guessed 'quality not quantity' anytime for me.
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Old Sep 6th 2007, 8:19 pm
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Default Re: Dealing with a smaller scale lifestyle

I haven't gone back yet, but I know I'll miss the big bedrooms that I've taken for granted in the US. I don't mind the rest of the house being small because I can usually make it cozy rather than claustrophobic, but a large bedroom allows me to be more comfortable temperature-wise and I sleep much more soundly. Dunno why.....

I will also miss being able to go to a shop really late at night if I run out of milk or something. That's benefit of having massive chain stores here, one on every corner!
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Old Sep 6th 2007, 8:32 pm
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Default Re: Dealing with a smaller scale lifestyle

Originally Posted by Cyan
I'm curious as to how people cope with returning to a UK lifestyle where things may be on a much smaller scale (eg property, cars, etc) ? I suppose this question is addressed to those returning from North America but may apply to other parts of the world (eg Australia/NZ/South Africa). I know there will be set responses like it's "all about quality, not quantity" etc but is there a minimum threshold that you will still adhere to ?

I remember the times when I used to return from holidays in Canada, and everything by comparison at home in England felt like I was living in Toy Town. My house felt like a shoe box and my car felt dinky compared to the auto juggernauts across the pond. After a while the feeling subsided but it was depressing while it lasted.

I think it's much easier to alter your mental parameters when you go from small to bigger than vice versa. Thoughts ?
I'm not sure I'd want to drive my US truck on the dinky streets here, with cars parked in the road and mini-Me parking spaces.
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Old Sep 6th 2007, 8:37 pm
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Default Re: Dealing with a smaller scale lifestyle

Originally Posted by katesbackagain
I haven't gone back yet, but I know I'll miss the big bedrooms that I've taken for granted in the US. I don't mind the rest of the house being small because I can usually make it cozy rather than claustrophobic, but a large bedroom allows me to be more comfortable temperature-wise and I sleep much more soundly. Dunno why.....

I will also miss being able to go to a shop really late at night if I run out of milk or something. That's benefit of having massive chain stores here, one on every corner!
Got good news for you Kate. Many of the Tesco stores are open 24hrs! It is bliss

As for moving form big to small. I have just come back from Aus where i lived ina huge apartment. Big big rooms open plan and 3 enormous balconies. I am now temporarily staying with my daughter in a 2 bedroom house! It is tiny especially with a bubba in there too, but in all honesty i really havent noticed the lack of space very much until i need a pee and someone gets to the loo before me...lol
I actually love the smallness of things. It feels more cosy and personal. Although i loved my large living spaces in Aus (we also had a 4 bed house) somehow it didnt feel quite right to me.
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Old Sep 6th 2007, 8:43 pm
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Default Re: Dealing with a smaller scale lifestyle

Originally Posted by Cyan
I'm curious as to how people cope with returning to a UK lifestyle where things may be on a much smaller scale (eg property, cars, etc) ? I suppose this question is addressed to those returning from North America but may apply to other parts of the world (eg Australia/NZ/South Africa). I know there will be set responses like it's "all about quality, not quantity" etc but is there a minimum threshold that you will still adhere to ?

I remember the times when I used to return from holidays in Canada, and everything by comparison at home in England felt like I was living in Toy Town. My house felt like a shoe box and my car felt dinky compared to the auto juggernauts across the pond. After a while the feeling subsided but it was depressing while it lasted.

I think it's much easier to alter your mental parameters when you go from small to bigger than vice versa. Thoughts ?
strange really b/c when we'd been to Alberta for the research trip we returned and commented exactly the same as you - "toy town".
but after iving there for 16mths then coming home,it didnt seem like that at all.
the only thing i miss is my big washer !!
the car we have(vw sharan) is only a bit smaller than our dodge grand caravan.cant say weve noticed much else.
the house we are moving into was built for the americans at menwith hill,so we are lucky to have 3 bathrooms again,including en suite,and a dining kitchen !
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Old Sep 6th 2007, 8:43 pm
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Default Re: Dealing with a smaller scale lifestyle

Originally Posted by katesbackagain
I will also miss being able to go to a shop really late at night if I run out of milk or something. That's benefit of having massive chain stores here, one on every corner!

i'm not sure how late 'really late' is for you to grocery shop but tescos by us in weybridge are open from 7am to 11pm and that is quite general for tescos, the one by gatwick is 24hrs. same for marks and lots of corner budgens stay open until 10 or 11pm...i think you'll be surprised at how late shops open and there is always the late night and 24 hr petrol stations for your milk.
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Old Sep 6th 2007, 8:45 pm
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Default Re: Dealing with a smaller scale lifestyle

our asda is open 24 hrs aswell, so dont worry,get yourself back !!!
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Old Sep 6th 2007, 8:58 pm
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Default Re: Dealing with a smaller scale lifestyle

Originally Posted by Fleaflyfloflum
Got good news for you Kate. Many of the Tesco stores are open 24hrs! It is bliss

They aren't in Wales where Kate is coming back to............they say they are open 24 hours but then they aren't. I cannot for the life of me figure it out. The one near me says it's open 24 hours yet it closes at 8 pm (6 pm in Sunday's)...........and forget getting a roast chicken after 3 pm

Square footage wise ......our house in the UK is probably close to our US house.........but in the US we only had a two bedroom house.......in the UK we have a 4 bedroom house........with all the bedrooms being small and one not much bigger than a box room. I do miss my big American couch that I could stretch out on............and I really miss my Honda CRV but to be honest.......I would have been scared to drive the CRV here in the UK when we first moved over and probably even now. With the streets being so narrow our small car lets me maneuver very well. We only have one car now but in the US hubby had to drive for his work and in the UK he is content to let me drive. He had a Georgia driver's license but has never tested for a UK one.

Sizewise....the biggest adjustment for me is the size of the gardens and the amount of privacy they offered in the States. When I walked into my back garden in Atlanta I could strip naked and no one would know..........over here half the village would see me and the other half of the village would know in ten minutes when their friends and families stopped laughing long enough to tell everyone else about it.

*Disclaimer............I have never stripped naked and strolled the garden in either the States or in the UK.............it's just an example.
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Old Sep 6th 2007, 9:05 pm
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Default Re: Dealing with a smaller scale lifestyle

We lived in a very large house in the UK and once it was sold, and prior to emmigrating, we rented a Edwardian semi/cottage for 5 months. I loved it ! And apart from re-jigging the kitchen and adding a utility room, it would be exactly the kind of house I would buy. My only bugbear was my washing decorating every radiator and every room in the house !!!

We've moved now - and are back in a spacious open-plan home. In many ways I love it - but would like just one cosy room. Might have to knock up a wall one day !

The UK does seem toy-town and claustrophobic in some ways after an immediate return - but you would soon get used to it, in a matter of days probably.

If I ever return to the UK, I would hunt down an house on a hill with open views to maintain my new-found love of 'sky' !!
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Old Sep 6th 2007, 9:11 pm
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Default Re: Dealing with a smaller scale lifestyle

Originally Posted by Cyan
I'm curious as to how people cope with returning to a UK lifestyle where things may be on a much smaller scale (eg property, cars, etc) ? I suppose this question is addressed to those returning from North America but may apply to other parts of the world (eg Australia/NZ/South Africa). I know there will be set responses like it's "all about quality, not quantity" etc but is there a minimum threshold that you will still adhere to ?

I remember the times when I used to return from holidays in Canada, and everything by comparison at home in England felt like I was living in Toy Town. My house felt like a shoe box and my car felt dinky compared to the auto juggernauts across the pond. After a while the feeling subsided but it was depressing while it lasted.

I think it's much easier to alter your mental parameters when you go from small to bigger than vice versa. Thoughts ?

yea the houses in canada may be bigger but no where near the same quality of house compaired to england, the houses here in ON may be large but will fall down in 50 years max anway
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Old Sep 7th 2007, 1:32 am
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Default Re: Dealing with a smaller scale lifestyle

All I want is a one bedroom flat somewhere nice in the UK. That's it. The more stuff you have the more you have to work for it all. I want to step off the treadmill of more, bigger, better and just simplify. I don't buy into the US philosophy of bigger and bigger. I can't wait to get back!
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Old Sep 7th 2007, 2:16 am
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Default Re: Dealing with a smaller scale lifestyle

Originally Posted by simongb
All I want is a one bedroom flat somewhere nice in the UK. That's it. The more stuff you have the more you have to work for it all. I want to step off the treadmill of more, bigger, better and just simplify. I don't buy into the US philosophy of bigger and bigger. I can't wait to get back!
I hear you. We recently dumped a bunch of stuff at a yard sale, and both OH and I agree that we haven't missed anything we gave away. Our attic looks so lovely and empty. It's incredible how much "stuff" you accumulate and how little of it you really need. That being said, I was a bit picky when I went home to find a flat. Some of them were just too small and claustrophobic. However, you can find some that are the equivalent of anything you would find in the USA. The one I finally found was very much the size of my first condo in So. Calif, which was more than big enough. I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the kitchens and the bathrooms; much better than some of the rentals I looked at when I was looking in Calif., and about the same price too.
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Old Sep 7th 2007, 2:51 am
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Default Re: Dealing with a smaller scale lifestyle

Size shouldn't matter.
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Old Sep 7th 2007, 8:01 am
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Default Re: Dealing with a smaller scale lifestyle

Is cleaning a big blimmin house that does my head in!!!! I just look in the kids rooms and shut the doors

Anyway you have to spend loads of money filling it up with stuff , waste of money if you ask me, rather be cozy and warm than freezing cold instead!!
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